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About Fish Pie
Fish Market

The Romans who invaded Britain were very fond of fish, but anything that was enjoyed by the occupiers was avoided with scorn, fish in particular because of its association with the Pagan goddess Venus, when fish was eaten to honour her. Over time, fish was mainly eaten on Fridays to adhere to the teachings of the Christian Church. This was but one of many pagan customs which were assimilated by the church.

During the numerous fasting days, including the entire period of Lent, the eating of meat was strictly forbidden. This led to a huge decrease in the variety of food from which to prepare meals and many elaborate recipes evolved in an effort to make something special to eat on those non-meat days. The day of Venus, when fish was eaten in honour of the goddess, ironically became the Friday ‘fish day’ of the Christian Church.


Fish Pie
PERIOD: France, 15th century | SOURCE: Chiquart's "On Cookery" | CLASS: Authentic
With that, Fish Pies: to instruct the person who will be doing this job--because not everyone is a master of it--he should get his fish, that is, good bellies of tuna, good big filets of carp, good big fresh eels--and of all that he should get the quantity that is needed for the number of pies that he is ordered to make

Fish Pie


Original recipe yields 9" dish.



Servings 4


1 lb. cooked cod, haddock or any white fish
3/4 pint milk
1 oz. butter
3/4 oz flour (2 tablespoons)
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped small
3/4 oz (2 tablespoons) finely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon chopped capers
Juice of half a small lemon
salt and pepper to season


1 lb, cooked potatoes mashed with plenty of butter and a little milk until smooth.


  1. Place the fish into a saucepan and add just enough milk to cover the fish. Bring to boik and simmer for 7-8 minutes. Strain the milk into a measuring jug and flake the fish into large pieces.

  2. Melt the butter in the same saucepan that the fish was cooked in. Stir in the flour and cook gently (low heat), moving it around with a wooden spoon, for about 2 minutes. Slowly add 1/2 pint of the milk the fish was cooked in. Bring to boil and then immediately turn heat down and simmer gently for 6/7 minutes, or until it thickens.

  3. Remove the saucepan from heat and add the flaked fish and all the other ingredients. Stir gently to mix everything in well.

  4. Put the filling into a shallow fire-proof dish. Allow to cool and then spoon the mashed potato all over the filling. Apply in separate spoonfulls and put it on lightly as you don’t it to sink down into the filling. rough it up lightly with a fork and dot with butter.

  5. Bake at 350 degreesF, for 20 minutes, then increase heat to 400 degresF, for another 10 minutes to brown the top, or you can brown it under the grill.